Zimbabwe may have to import 500MW to meet its power deficit


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Zimbabwe is currently producing only 800 megawatts of power and may have to import 500MW to meet its current power deficit.

Energy Minister Soda Zhemu said Hwange was generating 400MW and Kariba between 250MW and 300MW. Small thermal power stations were contributing 30MW while independent power producers brought in 56MW.

“We are also getting some imports of electricity from Eskom, which is supplying us with 100MW and another 50MW from utilities in Mozambique called HCB and EDM also supplying 50MW.  ZESCO of Zambia has an agreement with ZESA for the supply of 100MW and in total, we are getting 300MW as power imports,” he said. 

Zhemu said Zimbabwe was negotiating to get a further 150MW from Mozambique and 50MW from the Southern African Power Pool to make a total of 500MW.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing a crippling power shortage after it was forced to reduce generation from Kariba because of the low water level in the dam.

Below is his full ministerial statement to Parliament:

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON.  SODA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for allowing me this opportunity to present a Ministerial Statement on the state of electricity supply that is currently obtaining in the country. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a depressed power supply situation which was exacerbated by the reduced power production from Kariba Power Station. Besides the usual challenges of aged equipment at the country’s thermal power stations, climate change effects have hit hard on us at the Kariba South Hydro Power Plant where the dam that supports generation of power has received much reduced water inflows due to the poor 2021-2022 rain season. The water levels at Kariba Dam have gone down such that power generation at the dam had to be curtailed. You might be aware Mr. Speaker Sir that on Friday, 25th November this year, the Zambezi River Authority notified the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) that the utility had exhausted its water allocation for 2022 and there was need for the power station to be completely shut down.

The shutdown of the power plant would have had the following impacts: about 70% of the country’s power supply would have been lost as a result of shutting down the power station. The network stabilization would also have been disturbed which ordinarily would be done through Kariba Power Station. The Ministry engaged its counterparts in Zambia through meetings which were held at board level and also there was a recommendation from the board to allow the two utilities to engage. It was through those engagements that the Council of Ministers had an Extra Ordinary Meeting to allow ZPC to continue generating from Kariba Power Station but this time at a reduced capacity of between 250 to 300 megawatts. This effectively resulted in loss of about 300 megawatts capacity on our grid, increasing our power deficit to over 500 megawatts.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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